Edward IV Roll

The words "Middle Ages" conjure up pictures of castles and cathedrals, battles and tournaments, knights and dragons, lords and ladies. We get these mental images from the pictures found in illuminated manuscripts—handmade books as beautiful and precious as jewels. The Free Library has the Philadelphia area's largest collection of Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts. You can find them in the Rare Book Department on the third floor of the Central Library, 1901 Vine Street.

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Anyone who has struggled to follow the argument at the beginning of Shakespeare's Henry V can tell you that the royal family tree of England is nearly mpossible to follow from its gnarled roots to its many intertwined branches.

This magnificent genealogy of the first Yorkist king, Edward IV (1442-1483) was probably created to celebrate his accession to the throne in 1461 after defeating the forces of Henry VI in battle, and is as much a propaganda tool as a commemorative document. In it, the supporters of Edward IV harness legend, prophecy, superstition, words and visual images to offer a compelling propaganda statement to an increasingly literate public
See the Edward IV Scroll

Edward IV Roll iconic image


Rare Book Department:
Third Floor, Central Library

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Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tours of the department are available Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., or at other times by prior arrangement



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